Pitt gets crushed by Oklahoma State

Posted on Sep 19 2017 - 2:47pm by Jordan Kiebler
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The University of Pittsburgh got crushed Saturday by the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 59-21.

Mason Rudolph stole the show by throwing for 497 yards and five touchdowns. The Cowboys had not one, but four receivers going over the 100 yard mark.

Jalen McClesky had 162 yards with three touchdowns, James Washington had 124 yards, Marcell Ateman had 109 yards with one touchdown and Dillon Stoner had 100 yards with a touchdown.

Again, that’s four receivers with over 100 yards. What a phenomenal stat for Oklahoma State.

In my opinion, they are the fourth best team in the nation behind Alabama Clemson and Oklahoma. By far the best offense in the nation which is only fitting being in the Big 12.

Some of my game notes:

The first thing I witnessed was Pitt’s defense was not getting set on time and they looked very confused in the first half. They were throwing their hands in the air and looking at the sideline. Oklahoma State is going to run an up-tempo offense, and they are known for that.

Not knowing your defensive assignments is inexcusable. You cannot be unprepared for an offense like that.

Pat Narduzzi is still leaving his cornerbacks on islands, meaning 1-on-1 coverage. There is no safety help. This doesn’t work unless you have extremely talented cornerbacks and it certainly doesn’t work against such a talented quarterback with even more talent at wide receiver. I have a lot of faith in Coach Narduzzi, but sometimes I question the lack of adjustments made.

He could get away with that in the Big 10. He had big time recruits coming to play for him and playing against average quarterbacks.

So what exactly do our safeties do? Jordan Whitehead will be coming back next week, but is he really going to make a difference?

Damar Hamlin checked in late on Saturday afternoon, and if the announcers didn’t make a comment about him coming in, would you have noticed he was in the game? Probably not.

Whitehead and Hamlin are too talented to not showcase their abilities. They have to be more involved. Let them make a play.

With all that being said, Dane Jackson still impresses me and I am confident in him in the future.

The defensive line looked solid, and they were getting some pressure on Rudolph. If they wrapped up and made tackles, the score wouldn’t have been that bad, obviously.

Missed tackles was the thing that stuck out the most to me on Saturday. One of the worst tackling displays I have seen in a while. Again, if you want to make crucial mistakes like that against that offense, you WILL get exposed.

Some of the positives:

Ben DiNucci lit a spark when he came in. The student section was chanting his name before Narduzzi gave him the nod, and when he came in, a sudden energy was felt across Heinz Field. I think he is the quarterback moving forward.

In my opinion, having a running quarterback gives your offense a better dynamic or threat. Look at the AP Top 25. How many of those teams have running quarterbacks. I would argue that over half of them do. Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma sure do.

So why not add to that conversation? DiNucci doesn’t have the accuracy or arm strength Browne has, but his legs make up for that. So which would you rather have?

(I’m not trying to compare DiNucci to Jalen Hurts, Kelly Bryant or Baker Mayfield…)

Chawntez Moss runs hard. I thought he was going to be the starter at the beginning of the year, but that wasn’t the case. The running back position still does not worry me. Pitt will beat teams by running the ball, it is their most effective weapon.

Why didn’t AJ Davis play more? You already burnt his redshirt, so why not give him snaps, especially in a blowout.

Jester Weah had another quiet game. If you want to win, he needs to have catches.

Rafael Araujo-Lopes was the MVP on the offense. If Weah or Henderson aren’t doing anything, it is nice to see someone step up. It was also nice seeing Aaron Mathews being targeted too.

Let’s not forget Tre Tipton is out for the year. With him in there, it only adds to this offense. Filling in for him will be a tough task all year. He was a guy to look for on third and short to come up and make a play.

The hardest part of the schedule is over. I don’t want to say it gets easier from here, but it certainly doesn’t get much harder. Pitt got some valuable experience and learned their identities against teams like Penn State and Oklahoma State.

It’s time to do damage in the ACC Coastal.

Hail to Pitt.

Photo of Ben DeNucci courtesy of Joe Sargent/Getty Images.